How does Samsung Health measure steps?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How does Samsung Health measure steps” and provide you with more tips on how you can enhance your health activity with smartphones.

How does Samsung Health measure steps?

The smartphone sensors that measure step count are called Pedometers. Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) devices are very small electromechanical devices that contribute to translating mechanical movements into electrical signals. 

A pedometer is essentially a MEMS device that has a lever. In this case, the lever completes a circuit with an up and down physical movement. The rhythmic completion of the circuit then translates it into steps.

Viewing the step count

Samsung health is easily accessible in all Samsung phones as it is a pre-installed application. Navigate to and open the Samsung Health app, select the ‘Home’ tab, the app opens up a list of health activities with ‘Steps’ at the top. Clicking on ‘Steps’ shows the detail of step count, the distance measured, calories burnt and also displays the activity timeline which shows at what time the maximum steps were recorded.

Understanding your step count

The step count displayed is an estimate of steps detected via the phone’s step detectors which basically tracks the up and down movement of hips as the phone lays in the pocket. 

This means that movements close to walking such as moving your hand in rhythmically, a moving vehicle such as riding a bike can also increase the step count. The movement of phone tossing and turning inside a purse, bag or pocket can also affect step count.

How does Samsung Health measure distance?

Samsung health is a powerful health monitor that tracks the steps you walk and keeps a count of the steps and distance covered. The distance calculated is based on the number of steps along with an estimate of the length of your stride. Stride length is affected by height and the steps per minute.

Beyond the pedometer

There are many sensors fitted into the smartphone. Apart from the pedometer, the phone has an inbuilt accelerometer. Accelerometers are more advanced types of pedometers. They are also MEMS devices and can measure how hard or soft each step is.

To make better judgments regarding steps the built-in accelerometer is also used in conjunction with the pedometer. Step counting algorithms are made to improve the accuracy of distance travelled.

How accurate is the distance measurement?

Since the accuracy of the distance measured is on the step count and the step count is affected by many other movement activities as well, making the accuracy very low. However, during a session of walking the step counts are still reasonably accurate to ±5 steps for every 200 steps. This is because while walking the rhythm is maintained that makes the pedometer give a much accurate reading of the step count.

Should you use Samsung health to measure steps?

For athletes, a Samsung Galaxy watch might offer better measurements of step count and distance travelled. However, for the daily user, it is still a great benefit to know the peak times of your steps and to still keep up with a step goal as Samsung Health offers to set step goals which can be a good motivator for a person to stay active and reach their target daily step count.

Customize your own step goal

Samsung Health’s step count has features that support your fitness goals and build a health profile. If you find the step goal to be too easy or too hard, you can easily customize it by clicking on the ‘Step Count’  tile within the app. Then tap on the menu button and select ‘set target’ to select a target of your choice. Then swipe right or left on the number bar to increase or decrease your step target.

Compare your step count

The Samsung  Health app not only shows the tracks your step count over time which makes it easier for you to track your progress and commit to your health goals. The results are displayed on a graph for greater convenience.

To view your step count history, open the Samsung Health app on your phone and tap on ‘Steps’. From there, you can easily swipe left or right on the graph to view your step count from previous days.

Make use of the pause feature

Since riding a bike or car at slow speeds can also mistakenly translate as step count, you may find it useful to use the pause feature in step counting. You can temporarily stop the step count by heading to the steps page within your app, tapping the menu icon and then tapping the ‘Pause step counting’. After completing the bike or car ride follow the same steps to resume counting steps.

See your steps in the notification panel

There is a feature that allows you to see the step count in your notification panel without having to open the Samsung Health app. Simply tap on Samsung Health, tap on the menu in the top right corner and select the ‘Settings’ gear icon. In the new screen tap on Notifications and then turn it on for the ‘Steps’ notification.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How does Samsung Health measure steps?” and provide you with more tips on how to boost your health activity using smartphones.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.